Completion Date: 12/31/2021
2nd Quarter: During the second quarter the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s (TAS) Local Taxpayer Advocates (LTAs) played a critical role in Congress approving an increased budget for TAS by meeting with congressional offices weekly, sharing the status and effect of the IRS backlogs on taxpayers, and providing the National Taxpayer Advocate’s (NTA) blogs and talking points. The LTAs conducted virtual office visits during the Congressional Affairs Program (CAP) Conference and continued discussing the Annual Report to Congress (ARC), the Most Serious Problems (MSPs), and the Legislative Recommendations (LRs). The LTAs focused their message on the 2021 ARC MSP “The Lack of Sufficient and Highly Trained Employees Impedes Effective Tax Administration” and 2022 Purple Book Legislative Recommendation “Revamp the IRS Budget Structure and Provide Sufficient Funding to Improve the Taxpayer Experience and Modernize the IRS’s Information Technology Systems.” All planned activities for this objective have been completed.
1st Quarter: The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) completed working with the IRS on our recommendation for a robust online account system for individuals and practitioners to reduce the strain on IRS resources during the first quarter. We collaborated with IRS’ Online Services (OLS) division and addressed the need for robust online accounts for all taxpayers and tax professionals in the Annual Report to Congress (ARC) by publishing the Most Serious Problem (MSP) “IRS Online Accounts Do Not Have Sufficient Functionality and Integration with Existing Tools to Meet the Needs of Taxpayers and Practitioners.”
TAS will meet with congressional offices during our Congressional Affairs Program (CAP) conference to discuss the ARC’s MSPs, and Legislative Recommendations (LRs). This will allow the Local Taxpayer Advocates (LTAs) to emphasize the need for congress to provide the IRS adequate resources. Further, in the 2021 ARC, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) published the MSP “The Lack of Sufficient and Highly Trained Employees Impedes Effective Tax Administration” and 2022 Purple Book Legislative Recommendation “Revamp the IRS Budget Structure and Provide Sufficient Funding to Improve the Taxpayer Experience and Modernize the IRS’s Information Technology Systems” urging Congress to ensure the IRS has sufficient funding, staffing, and technology to provide a high level of service to taxpayers while protecting their rights. TAS will continue to advocate for these recommendations during the second quarter.